We’re kicking off Labor Day and our weekly music crush Monday series with, girl in red. She’s an indie music artist we’ve recently discovered, and want to pop on your radar.
The past 12 months have been nothing short of momentous for rising Norwegian singer/songwriter/producer Marie Ulven, better known as girl in red. She has already hit hundreds of millions of streams, played several sold-out worldwide shows (pre-Covid), and garnered widespread critical acclaim around the globe due to two brilliant EPs. Indeed, girl in red is only just getting started.
Today you get the first glimpse of her yet-to-be-named debut album in the shape of brand new single “rue,” a song about escapism that shows Marie in a completely different light, one much darker than ever before. Watch the exceptional video directed by Niels Windfeldt below.
“rue” is the start of an exciting new chapter; a track which swirls with ominous depth as Marie’s sound outgrows the confines of the bedroom pop that’s been tagged alongside her name before today. Taking cues from escapist fantasies, soundtracked by Robyn’s Body Talk and Lorde’s Melodrama, Marie’s melancholic euphoria turns off all the lights and lets the storm play out in real time as she races through the night searching for catharsis and freedom.
“rue” began in an unlikely place — a Guitar Center in Times Square where she was trying out acoustic guitars and happened upon its chord progression. Taking further shape at the back of her tour bus, it’s inspired by the parallels she recognised between herself and the character of Rue in HBO’s Euphoria. “She is a drug addict, which I’m not,” says Marie. “But a lot of the stuff she’s felt and is trying to escape from is shit I’m dealing with all the time.” Returning to Norway, she began to construct a far bigger arrangement. The song sees Marie battle with mental health struggles. “That’s some heavy ass work,” says Marie. “It’s not physical work but it feels like it because it’s so hard.”
Striking a chord with listeners thanks to her unfiltered songwriting, girl in red has a rare and sincere openness to her songwriting where she discusses both her queerness and mental health which has sparked feelings of hope, solidarity and togetherness among her fanbase. “A lot of people don’t know about mental health,” she says. “People lack knowledge and don’t understand that your mental health isn’t necessarily who you are. You can be depressed but that doesn’t mean you don’t want to go outside or you don’t have feelings. To me it’s not taboo at all to talk about mental health. Everyone has a mental health. I don’t see talking about sex as a taboo thing either.”
“rue” is the start of an exciting new phase for girl in red. Watch this space for more….